The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

Your one-stop thread for early thoughts on pitchers

Posted by: Sam Borden - Posted in Misc on Feb 25, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

I get a lot of emails (and Tweets – I’m @SamBorden, by the way) from people asking about how this particular pitcher looks or what the Yankees think of that young lefty. It’s understandble, of course – this is what spring training is all about. But when Larry Rothschild talked to a group of reporters earlier today, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to do a post with his thoughts on a slew of the Yankee pitchers.

So, if you’ve been wondering about one of the off-the-radar pitchers for the Yankees – i.e. those guys not named Sabathia or Hughes or Burnett or Rivera – then click after the jump for the pitching coach’s early opinions …

On Dellin Betances: “He’s got a real good changeup, he can spin the ball, and he’s a big kid that has a pretty good feel for delivery for that big a kid. It usually takes taller kids a little bit longer, but he’s pretty good. He’s got three pitches, it’s just a matter of being able to repeat a lot. He’s certainly got the makeup. I don’t think he scares. He’s got a look that’s pretty intense.”

On Manny Banuelos: “He’s a nice lefthanded arm. He’s a kid with a good look. He’s able to repeat his delivery very well, and does things pretty easily. So I think, future-wise, he’s someone that should have a good future here. He’s a young kid that’s got to go through all the steps to get here.”

On Ivan Nova: “I think he’s got the pitches to win here. I think, like a lot of young kids that haven’t had a lot of experience, he’s got to really determine the fact that he belongs here. … I think the confidence thing is huge for him and I think he’s capable of pitching well for us.”

(Follow-up: Why did Nova struggle toward the end of starts last year?) “I think he’s got to pitch through some of the barriers that young kids do. That’s learning how to win games at this level and push through the fact that it’s not just trying to get through the fifth, but you’re looking for the sixth or seventh and even deeper than that. It’s really just focusing on making the pitches and you make as many pitches as you can in a given game one at a time. … I think he needs to put the blinders on and just execute the pitch at hand.”

On Sergio Mitre: “At this point in Serge’s career, he’s pitched in relief, he’s pitched long relief a little bit, middle I think. He’s started. Those guys aren’t easy to find, that can adjust and go back and forth. They’re pretty valuable guys to have. They tend to be overlooked until towards the end when they’re the 11 or 12. I don’t think it’s all that out of character in camp. I hope he knows that he’s got a valuable role here in what he needs to do for the team.”

On Andrew Brackman: “I saw him the last month. He came in early on the other side, threw some bullpens there, and threw some batting practice. I didn’t see him before but I think he’s made some really good strides.”

(Follow-up on whether he’s worried about Brackman’s groin injury): “This seems to be very, very minor. It’s really more precautionary more than anything else.”

(Follow-up on Brackman’s breaking pitches): “He’s got a good breaking ball. He can spin a curveball really well. The guy’s almost 7-feet tall. But his delivery has been pretty clean, he’s an athletic kid so he’s been able to put it together pretty well. The arm strength you know is there. Because of the height, the release point’s out front, past where a lot of guys release the ball. So it should jump on hitters quicker. I haven’t seen him live in a game. I have seen some tape of him but it’s been kind of limited from what they had in the minor leagues. So I look forward to seeing him in a game to see where he is with stuff.”




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